From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The group stage matches of the Plateau North Peace, Unity and Reconciliation Football Tournament has kick off at the Rwang Pam Township stadium, Jos, the State Capital.
The game was between Gyel B Ward of Jos South LGA versus Kimakpa Ward of Bassa LGA, which ended in a 1-1 draw (First match in Group A).
Earlier in his welcome address, organiser of the tournament, Senator Istifanus Gyang said, “Tagging the tournament;
Plateau North Peace, Unity and Reconciliation Football Tournament, is anchored on the desire and need to change the negative narrative and rebuild confidence and togetherness against the challenges of insecurity which the constituency faced at varying times for upward of two decades, post-colonial era.
He maintained that, “Diversity and plurality need not be a liability except where it is mismanaged.
“We therefore can through constructive engagement, not only profit but turn ethnic and religious diversity into an asset and in the process, transform Plateau North to become the model of recovery in overcoming adversity, animosity and hate.
According to him, “Peace is priceless and paramount and is my passion.
Gyang added that, the tournament is a platform for the youth to showcase their talents which was hitherto “unnoticed and unsppoted”, for want of opportunity.
“This discovery will facilitate their grooming and development to prepared and equip them to become future stars in professional football both locally and internationally”, he explained.
“This is in keeping with the long established fact of history which records this city of Jos, indeed, Plateau North as the birth place and rise of many football legends in Nigeria”, he stressed.
Chairman of the occasion, and immediate past Governor of the State, Sen. Jonah Jang, commended the lawmaker for his foresight in organising the tournament.
Jang also said, they are proud of the legislator as he is representing the zone as he ought to.
He called on Governor Simon Lalong to complete the uncompleted stadiums across local government councils to boost sporting activities in the state.
In his remarks, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and Special Guest of Honour, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase, also commended Senator Gyang for the initiative.
According to him, “If Plateau North is peaceful the country will always be at peace because Plateau North is a miniature Nigeria.
Wase promised to give the eventual winner of the tournament the sum of N1million, the second position N700, 000, while the third place team will receive N500, 000.
He also promised a reward of the sum of N100, 000 to the highest goal scorer, best player and best goalkeeper of the tournament each.
Picture- Left to right- Former Nigeria international Sam Pam, Coach Bitrus Bewarang and former Plateau State Governor, Senator Jonah Jang; below are Super Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa and Senator Istifanus Gyang.